Many people work hard so they can save for retirement. It is unpleasant to think that someone will be able to strip that money away from this, but this is what might happen in a divorce. If you have any retirement accounts, you will likely have to split them during the property division process. The exception to this is if there is a prenuptial agreement that covers these accounts.
If you do have to divide the retirement accounts, you need specific documentation to do this. Many accounts use the qualified domestic relations order, which is commonly known as a QDRO.
The court must issue the QDRO, and it has to contain precise information. The contact information for the account owner and the payee must be present. It also needs to include the method of division and an explanation of how the court came up with the percentages. If the transfers will occur in stages, the schedule of payments is necessary.
Once you have the document from the court, you must submit it to the plan administrator. This person either denies or approves it. If they reject it, you will receive an explanation and information about how to correct the issues. When those are done, you resubmit it to the administrator for approval.
Because retirement accounts are only one component of the divorce, you must look at the big picture before you make any decisions about it. Consider how various arrangements impact your financial future, so you can make choices based on how you feel they will affect you. Your goal is to have a single life that you can enjoy.